CHITTAGONG: Pakistan U-23s team qualified for the final of Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup by defeating Afghanistan U-23s team in the semi-final of the tournament by 123 runs defending 268.
Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pakistan did not have a good start as they lost Imran Butt early in the piece. However, Hussain Talat and Haris Sohail rebuild the inning with the help of 55 runs partnership.
Talat got out after scoring 37 off 63 balls, whereas, Haris Sohail kept his inning going. It is a good sign for Pakistan that the left-handed batsman, after a long break due to a knee injury, is finally getting his form back. He scored 68 runs on 82 balls before getting out.
It was the skipper, Mohammad Rizwan that led from the front and went on to post a ton. He scored 105 runs on 99 balls without getting out. Other batsmen around him contributed in bits and pieces to take Pakistan to 267 runs.
Gulbadin Naib remained the pick of the bowler for Afghanistan, who took three wickets for 51 runs in 10 overs.
Afghanistan, while chasing 268 runs, had a poor start where they lost both of their openers at a score of just 15 runs.
The middle-order of Afghanistan tried to put up some fight but they could not convert their starts into something substantial. They went to their 20s and lost their way.
Najibullah Zadran remained the top scorer for Afghanistan with 31 runs to his name on 25 deliveries. Other than him, Younas Ahmadzai, Samiullah Shenwari, and Munir Ahmed scored 27, 25 and 15 runs respectively.
There were no other worthy performance from Afghanistan’s batsman and they only managed 144 runs before getting all out in 31.4 overs.
Bilal Asif took five wickets for Pakistan for just 40 runs in 8.4 overs. Hussain Talat struck twice, Amad Butt and Usama Mir also hunted one batsman apiece.